Government ducked scrutiny on state of emergency powers, integrity group says

By Michael Fowler, originally published in the Age, 23rd June 2021. The Victorian government avoided scrutiny on its wide-reaching state of emergency powers last year through a technicality, an independent group of lawyers has found. As the Andrews government privately negotiates specific pandemic laws to permanently replace the state of emergency when it expires in… Read More

Commonwealth Integrity Commission has ‘serious deficiencies’: Judges, police and lawyers

By David Crowe, originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald 25th May 2021. A federal pledge to crack down on corruption is struggling to gain support from police and legal experts who believe the draft plan is too weak to catch politicians and public servants who break the law. Corruption experts are urging the government… Read More

Zero, zlich, nada: the saddest number in the budget was the ‘0’ for government integrity

By Anthony Whealy, originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 19th May 2021. The budget is now well and truly out and about. At face value, it looks attractive and is likely to succeed as a political lever to the government’s continuation in power: childcare, aged care, women’s protections. The overall theme, “recovery budget”,… Read More

Federal anti-corruption body won’t be operational before next election, budget papers reveal

By Christopher Knaus, originally published in the Guardian 12th May 2021. The Coalition is not planning for its anti-corruption commission to be up and running prior to the next election, the budget papers reveal, prompting allegations it has “no real intention of acting on corruption”. The Commonwealth Integrity Commission model has been beset by delay… Read More

Mates getting plum government jobs? There must be an election coming up

By Jenna Price, originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald 4th May 2021. Seriously, this is the worst. In the last five months, 13 former Liberal MPs and political staffers have been appointed to federal government jobs. Don’t imagine it’s a burst of recent activity though. By 2019, the Liberal government had managed to appoint… Read More

Leppington triangle: Coalition’s $30m purchase of airport land ‘incompetent or corrupt’

By Michael McGowan, originally published in the Guardian 29th April 2021. The federal government’s controversial $30m purchase of the Leppington triangle site was either the result of “gross incompetence or corruption”, a parliamentary inquiry has heard. Geoffrey Watson SC, the director of the Centre of Public Integrity, told a Senate inquiry the purchase of a… Read More

‘Deeply concerning’: government consultant made millions from NSW environmental offsets

By Lisa Cox, originally published in the Guardian 28 April 2021. An environmental consultant who holds interests in a property that made more than $40m selling conservation offsets to governments is part of a consortium that has made tens of millions of dollars more, Guardian Australia can reveal. Steven House is a former director of… Read More

Calls for urgent integrity review of public transport amid IBAC probe

By Timna Jacks, originally published in the Age 3rd April 2021. A former counsel assisting NSW’s anti-corruption watchdog has joined the Victorian opposition in calling for an urgent, wide-ranging audit of Victoria’s public transport contracts in the wake of allegations of serious corruption on Melbourne’s railways. Six months after the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission launched… Read More

‘Highly problematic for public trust’: Australian political donations revealed

By David Crowe, originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald on 18th January 2021. A surge in donations at the last federal election has taken the resource industry’s political payments to $136.8 million over two decades and a new analysis has named the sector as the biggest donor in Australian politics. Mining and gas companies… Read More